Resort Review: Villa Del Palmar Cancun
We are always up for a good deal and when I got a notification that Villa Del Palmar Cancun was on sale right after the New Year, I couldn’t resist a quick trip back down to the ocean. Bryan was banned from our girls-only trip in September to Cancun and Tulum, so it was only fair he get some time in the Caribbean too!
The weather was a little cool for Mexico – mostly due to a huge nor’easter storm that hit the east coast that weekend. No complaints; it was around 70F while we were there – a welcome change from the winter blues.
Overall, we really enjoyed our time at Villa Del Palmar Cancun. The location is a bit north of the heart of Cancun, and a very short walk to the Isla Mujeres ferry. We used Cancun Shuttle for our round trip to the resort and had great service from them. (Always remember, book with a reputable company and quickly walk past all the hawkers in the Cancun airport to the outside curb where the shuttles are.)
This was one of the first resorts I have been to in Mexico that was not open air, which I am sure is pleasant when the heat is oppressive. Villa Del Palmar’s furnishings were lovely and sumptuous, albeit the space itself was a little small. The hotel lobby bar, which is actually an extension of one of the restaurants, was definitely cramped. Still – you don’t hang out in the lobby at a resort! It’s just for first impressions. Which were great.
End of Christmas Season
We loved all the poinsettias around the property and caught the last few days of their big Christmas tree. We happened to be there on January 6th (the Epiphany) so they provided king cake, complete with three kings who walked around the property for photos with guests. This weekend proved to be empty for Cancun (I noticed it at the airport too), so we’d definitely like to come back again as kids in the U.S. head back to school.
Some resorts are huge and it takes you forever to get around them. Villa Del Palmar Cancun was a nice size: not too big, not too small, just right. There were lots of little pools that were next to each as you made it down to the beach, so it gave a sense of intimacy. There were also several little nooks for hot tubs or gathering spots that were tucked into trees that small groups could hang out in together.
All-Inclusive Inside a Timeshare Resort
We love going to all-inclusives because they are so easy. You get your wristband and don’t have to think about anything afterward – except maybe some tips and reservations at the nicer restaurants. We *did* purchase an all-inclusive plan at Villa Del Palmar and they were true to their word. The only sticking point was when we arrived, the considerges immediately wanted to schedule tours, etc, which we knew would turn into timeshare sales, so we declined and headed straight to the beach. Part of the problem with declining is that we then really didn’t understand how the resort worked. Even on the AI plan, you have to wait for your tab at any bar or restaurant and sign off on it. At first, we were alarmed that we were actually getting charged these dollar amounts, but they assured us it was just for their tracking. Once we got used to it, it was fine – but honestly, it seems they could find a better way, such as different wristbands. It was a little frustrating when you have one drink at the bar and one from the waiter and one over there to remember to close out all those tabs. But hey! At least it all was still included.
I have to give Villa Del Mar kudos because the food was better than many all-inclusive resorts we have stayed with – perhaps from their meticulous tracking system? The buffet had a large variety of options and there were several more upscale restaurants to choose from. Personally, our favorite was La Casona, the steak house, which was surprising to us. Coming from Colorado, where great steak is plentiful – we generally don’t care for it elsewhere. But it was fantastic!
We got an ocean-view room that was situated at the base of the resort. The U-shape of the building gives many rooms excellent views and we loved looking out over the pools as well as out to the ocean. The decor was lovely and the room was quite large and well-appointed with glassware, a toaster and a microwave.
Cancun resorts may be a bit smaller comparatively, but I think this stretch (the Yucatan Peninsula) has the prettiest beaches in the world. The sand is white and soft while the water is clear and bright. At Villa Del Mar, the beach bar includes swings – which can get a little dangerous after a few beers! But we had fun sitting there and watching the world go by for a few days. And bonus: while the rest of the resort gave decent service – the guys at the beach were on it! Maybe that’s another reason we decided to hang down there almost the whole time.
The Bottom Line
Overall, we had a great time and would definitely go back. I think now that we have a better understanding of how Villa Del Palmar works, it would be easier to navigate and also a great jumping off point to visit Isla Mujeres. A gorgeous resort! Feel free to ask me any questions you may have in the comments.
Thanks for the gr8 review and the pics. We are a family of 5 (parents and kids, 12, 11 & 11). We have a reservation for a 2 BR Ocean Front at Hyatt Ziva. I just kind of stumbled upon Villa del palmar recently. It seems they are having a sale(??) – we could get a 2 BR Penthouse or Master Ocean Front for about half the price of ZIva.
COMMENT / QUESTION: I ‘ve read a few so-so reviews (tripadvisor) about the beach, e.g., seaweed, dark, etc. In your pics, I see clear blue water…. What was your experience with the beach throughout your stay? THanks